To be sure, Meadows finds himself in bind. The North Carolina Republican has cultivated a close and fruitful relationship with Trump, who often focuses his ire toward minority members of Congress. Meadows’ friendship with Cummings gave him no choice but to come to the Democrat’s defense. That’s especially true following the incident with Tlaib this past February, when Meadows publicly called on that friendship to defend himself.
Former Rep. Mia Love, a Utah Republican and CNN contributor, says that she texted with Meadows Monday morning and urged him to “do the right thing” and stand publicly alongside Cummings.
“I told him that, look, it’s times like this where you know what you’re made of,” Love told CNN.
Even so, Meadows took his time. At a public event at the White House earlier on Monday, he ignored questions from CNN about Trump’s tweets, in which Trump disparaged Cummings as a “brutal bully” and called his district a “very dangerous and filthy place.” Trump also said that “no human being would want to live” in the district, which is 59% black.